“Our country disappears, and we are forced to become the first digital nation in the world.” The Tuvalu archipelago no longer knows in what tone to sing it: its territory is condemned to death. “Sea level rise will engulf Tuvalu within decades,” hammers the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Pacific archipelago in a video message, broadcast on the sidelines of COP27. As the international climate conference comes to an end this Friday, November 18, Simon Kofe has sent a new warning message to the rest of the world, an extract of which we have translated and subtitled in the video above.
In 2021, during COP26, the Tuvaluan minister had already made an impression by giving a speech with his feet in the water, relayed around the world. This time, Mr. Kofe announces that Tuvalu will create a “digital replica” of its territory, reports The Sydney Morning Herald. The archipelago intends to “to create a digital version of itself, transposing its islands and landmarks, preserving its history and culture, as rising sea levels threaten to overwhelm this tiny Pacific island territory”.
“Underwater at the end of the century”
This archipelago, a member of the Commonwealth,“includes 9 islands and has 12,000 inhabitants, says the Australian daily, and is located halfway between Australia and Hawaii”. It is one of the most vulnerable states to climate change. “Up to 40% of the Capital District [l’atoll de Funafuti] is under water when the tide is high, and the whole country should be under water by the end of the century”, complete the title.
The Tuvalu archipelago will be the first country to create a virtual version of its territory on the metaverse. “It will save our country from oblivion, believes Simon Kofe, will offer comfort to our people, and will remind our children and grandchildren of what our country was.” And the Tuvaluan minister adds:
“Only through collective action will Tuvalu survive beyond the virtual world and not disappear forever from the real world. Without global awareness and commitment to our common well-being, the rest of the world may soon join us online, as their countries disappear.”
The purpose of this digital replica is to allow Tuvalu to continue to exist as a state even when its lands are submerged. “The executive begins to work for Tuvalu to be permanently recognized by the international community as a State [sur le métavers]including its maritime boundaries.” A legal challenge which, hopes the archipelago, would allow it to preserve its sovereignty over its natural resources.